Forever is such an elusive word. The dictionary defines it is as “for all future time; for always.” or “Continually.” Time however, in the context of human life, is not infinite nor for always. I started to think about what does this word forever really mean. How much of forever do we disregard.
Forever is in Feeling
I am always trying to capture moments that capture me, to be able to replay it and treasure it and feel the feeling that came with that moment, forever. These moments are so precious, out of this world, even. They engulf you and make you question everything, they make you want to be a better person, live better, love better, pray better. Sometimes they disappear as quickly as they have appeared, making you wonder if it was all real or just a figment of your imagination. My memory often fails me and when I look back at the moments and try to recall them perfectly, I feel cheated because the moments are gone or that I don’t quite remember them as it happened or felt. Am I ever doing justice to them? They can be based on transient interactions with strangers or more permanent memories, like maybe the day you stumbled into the love of your life or the day you brought new life into this world or the day you saw pride in your parents eyes as a result of your graduation. These moments are set in a particular place, happen at a particular time and some circumstance had to enable that piece of time to happen. Then all these individual moments are stored in a treasure chest of emotions. Some of these emotions get locked up, in a place for you to access when you need it, let’s call it a kind of Pandora’s box, not the kind having the negative connotation to it. More like where you are able to put them away for a rainy day. Ultimately, they ripple through your veins and become a part of you. So not knowing or remembering the specifics of how it happened or when or even who, is not actually the goal. The forever is in the feeling, in the molecular moments that add together to develop your psyche until you no longer even know where that part of you came from. This feeling is the unseen DNA of your personality, maybe some of your mannerism or habits have come from these, or your subconscious reactions, your preconceived conclusions and sometimes it’s just what’s inside of you.
The beauty you see in me is a reflection of you. -Rumi
Forever is in Faith
All the moments add up, build up to be a part of all the pockets of time that make up your life. In Islam we are taught to be kind and generous with our interactions and our time. We are taught about love for family and patience with children. Islam also, teaches us to be grateful. So we thank Allah constantly during these moments for the life we have been blessed with. Similarly, when we go through a difficult time, the loss and despair associated with whatever you are going through will become intertwined with all the stuff that is there before. This results in you experiencing emotions that are not easily named. I think, however, that our faith and belief system makes us more fortunate than others. The teachings in Islam enable us to see things from a perspective that most don’t comprehend or recognize. That we have pre-built mechanisms to deal with difficulty. Salaah is the physical, mental, and spiritual act of worship, obligatory for every muslim. This act of worship is offered 5 times a day and these are five separate opportunities to release the stress and pressure of the day or just to connect and be still. Then we have duah (prayer), dhikr (remembrance) and Imaan (faith in Allah) all constantly available in our arsenal of tools that enable us to deal with this short, temporary life. So the forever is that we essentially put our trust in Allah that He knows what is best for us and that we will soon know why this difficulty or loss is something we have had to go through, and even if we never understand ‘Why me’, we have been able to make it through another day. The forever is in knowing that you are spiritually connected to something so much greater than you and that you are constantly seeking ways of better understanding this part of your spirituality. Obviously, many millions around the world are suffering in ways we cannot imagine to have to deal with and maybe this simple explanation does not do justice to their plight, but still all we can do is take heed of our blessings and to be cognizant of them all the time. This love and trust and faith is forever. This will tide you through the stormy waters, this will make you want to wake up the next day and do it all over again and this will enable you to see the light on both sides.
Trust in Allah and love for the sake of Allah.
Love is not written on paper, for paper can be erased. Nor is it etched on stone, for stone can be broken. But it is inscribed on a Heart and there it shall remain forever.